Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another Day, Another Doctor, Again

Yesterday we had OT. It went okay, considering Imogene hardly napped in the morning and was perilously close to her afternoon naptime. Her best 'move' was that when Amy held her left arm to keep her from using it, she used the right arm to try and get the left free. Amy said that shows that the right is trying - some kids would have just pulled and tugged with the left and not tried to use the right to help the left. We're going to be doing more and more of this type of 'constraint' therapy, where we keep the left from being able to do anything to force her to use the right. She's going to hate it, but it's for her own good!

Today Imogene, Mommy and Daddy all went to see Dr. Morozova, the physiatrist. She is just a lovely woman, and Imogene took to her very well. Dr. Morozova (what is it with us and the M doctors, Madigan, McClintock & Morozova!?!) was so thorough and took a lot of time to explain everything to us. She even gave us a thoughtful explanation of cerebral palsy. She didn't tell us too much we didn't already know, but did tell us that in her opinion Imogene is going to walk. Didn't say when, and she did say it might require some sort of brace, but she said she'll walk. This is the first person that has said that out loud. A huge deal for Mommy & Daddy to hear someone say that to us. We believe she can do it, but it's nice to have some medical opinion on our side! She did explain that the muscles in her leg and arm will get tighter as she gets older (think about how much less flexible you are today, than when you were a baby and could eat your own foot!) and so part of her role is to watch the tightness and prescribe medicines or orthotics to help her with that when needed. She also will watch the growth of her leg and arm on the right in comparison to the left. Bones grow in response to the muscles, and when muscles get tight, bones don't have as much room to grow. Like I said, she was really very helpful in her explanations. We really fell in love. We'll go back in 3 months (another sign that Imogene is doing pretty well!)

The pediatrician's office called and said that if Imogene wasn't doing a good bit better by now with her cough and runny nose - which she's not - that she needed some medical assistance, so we'll start an antibiotic in the morning. Oh Imogene.

Today Lily told Imogene very nicely "Imogene, I do not like it when you play with my baby dolls' shoes. Please find something else to do." This is very Becky Bailey-esque (see the posting about Mommy going to school from last week). She's learning so much at school.
She later told Mommy, "You are a bad guy. I'm going to push you." Pushes Mommy. Mommy then says, "I don't like it when you push. We do not push." Lily returns with "Yes we do push. In this village people push. And throw things." This is NOT Becky Bailey-esque. And don't ask me where she got 'village' from - I think it's in Angelina Ballerina books.

This is Just Ducky week at our house. Mommy is an Area Consultant for the Just Ducky Originals Home Clothing line. We now have about 60 items of clothing hanging around our house for the rest of the week. This is a huge outlet for me - I love the clothes, I love the company, and I love having friends and neighbors and new friends over to spend time with them and help them design their children's custom wardrobe. So, the blog might be a little quiet for a little while - or maybe work will let up for Daddy and he can finally get a chance to blog too!
We're excited to see Grunny & Charlie (coming to help this week - thank you!) and hope Nane is feeling better so she can come for the weekend too!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lights, Camera, Skype!

For Christmas we got a webcam. If you're also on Skype, give us a call! We're thesiglerfamily.

Poor Imogene has been a mess this past week. She has a runny nose and a terrible cough, and has had some rough nights of sleep. And by rough, I mean she was up Friday night from 1030 pm until around 230 am, and then got up again at 5, and 645. She saw one of the pediatricians in our practice on Friday (Dr. Baldrate is out on Fridays). They tested for any bacteria with a nasal swab test (IBS loved that! HA!). The doctor said she probably just caught something new and different from what she had right after Christmas. Oh joy. Her appetite has been down and she's wanted to do nothing with Mommy but nurse. When she doesn't want something to eat she shakes her head and her left arm and will not take it. It's sort of funny. What's not funny is when she picks the food she doesn't want off her tray and drops it on the floor. We need to put a "splat-mat" under her high chair, but the dining room just isn't big enough - it becomes a major tripping hazard for the rest of us! She does the shaking her head 'no' bit when you pick a book she doesn't want to read. Quite opinionated she is!

Lily said today while in the bathroom, "Can I say a bathroom word since I'm in the bathroom?" And then said "poopy-booty." And giggled. Not sure if she picked that up at school, or where, but it was funny - the first time. The next 10 times will not be as funny.
More Silly Lily
Mommy: "Let's go set up the computer for the new camera."
Lily: "Did the computer fall down?"

"Can you get the next Mary Poppins movie for me? I want to see the children at the house she went to next after Jane & Michael."
"I wish I was magic so I could go inside and see Mary Poppins in the movie."

Instead of "I didn't know that" it's "I didn't notice that."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just had to share these pictures my friend Tracie took in the last month.
Lily with her two buddies Susan and Lucy.

Mommy & Imogene watching Daddy & Lily go sledding back in December.

Off to School

Mommy spent most of yesterday at preschool. The bulk of the morning I spent working at our open house for families interested in attending Westminster next year. For some reason (maybe the level of education in our area due to D.C.??? who knows) getting into preschool here is like applying to an ivy league college (or so I imagine it is what applying to an ivy league college is like, seeing as I have no experience in that.) There are so many good schools in this area - for crying out loud it's just preschool! - but there really are plenty of places for children to have a fun experience and grow and learn along the way. WWP has a reputation as one of the better preschools in this area- who can argue with that!?! - so attendance is high at the open house. Yesterday, talking to all those parents looking for the right place for the children I felt so lucky. We did find the right place for Lily (and Imogene one day) and it was all because we found the right church first! I did not envy all those parents going through the preschool process! I was also reminded how much Lily cried at the beginning of the year when she was in the 2 1/2 class, and how now she walks in the school like she owns the place, and greets all the teachers and most of the students by name - just as if she was standing next to her locker in high school! And then barely says good-bye to Mommy or Daddy. Next year she'll go to the 4 year old program Monday-Friday. I hesitated about sending her 4 or 5 days. Both sets of teachers are wonderful. But I think Lily will do beautifully with the two teachers in the 5 day class, and to be honest, it will be nice to have that extra day for Imogene's therapy sessions or doctor appointments or even - dare I say? - a baby music class or swimming or something else fun for Imogene to do all her own!
For the last 20 minutes of the school day I went into Lily's room and helped her make an igloo out of a Styrofoam cup, sugar cubes and icing. Very cute and all the kids were hysterical - covered in icing and spending half their time making the igloos, the other half eating the icing!
And then finally, last night was the "Conscious Discipline" parenting class that the preschool director and Lily's teacher for next year are holding. The program is run by a woman named Becky Bailey. We have one of her books, Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline, already. Attending the workshop has furthered what is in the book with ideas and techniques for helping Lily through the trials and tribulations of childhood (and one day Imogene). Dr. Bailey's program helps parents (and teachers) learn to discipline themselves before their children - by doing things as simple as taking a deep breath and relaxing before tackling a tantrum! Who knew you needed to be reminded of breathing and relaxing! Well, I do! The program has 7 skills and 7 'powers' - the first are the Skill of Composure (i.e. breathing!) and the Power of Perception - regarding how we let the outside world control how we feel on the inside. Probably not explaining it very well - but I highly recommend Becky Bailey to any parents or teachers out there! Lily really isn't a 'behavior problem,' but it's been so good to put into practice things that will help all of us now, and give both girls tools to deal with themselves and others as they grow!
Yet another example of what an amazing place Westminster is, and how lucky we are to be in that family.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A New Set of Terms to Learn!

Imogene saw Dr. Madigan, her ophthalmologist this morning. Her right eye turns inward, and since we saw him in October, we'd notice that it had gotten more noticeable. At that time, she had a 5 % inward turn. Today he said that it is at 10%, and he would like her to have surgery to correct it. The surgery is simply called strabismus surgery. Strabismus refers to "eyes that are out of alignment." In her case, it is considered esotropia, because one eye turns inward toward the nose. So her surgery will weaken the muscles close to the bridge of her nose, and strengthen the muscles closer to her temple. Here is link for a good explanation of all this. While only about 25% of strabismus cases require surgery, the condition, and the surgery are relatively common, especially among kids with cerebral palsy. It's outpatient, and doesn't require any incisions, so there is no risk of scarring. We'll go back to see Dr. Madigan in 2 months, and then have the surgery about a month later. Bill and I both really like Dr. Madigan - he really takes time to explain everything, and is really approachable, so we feel comfortable with his recommendation, and that he'll be performing the surgery.
Phew, what a week.

We got a permanent time for occupational therapy - Wednesdays at 11 am, and then we'll stick with our Thursdays at 11 am time for physical therapy. I have always been a good 'date' person - I always remember dates and practically memorize the calendar each year. For instance I know off the top of my head that April 12 is a Monday, March 4 is a Thursday, etc. I think this was a gift from God, because I am certainly putting it to use with all these appointments!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Year in Review

We spent three hours this morning at Imogene's one year check-up. Poor Imogene received four shots (two vaccines, regular flu and H1N1), plus had her heel pricked for lead/anemia testing. Overall, the appointment went well. It's just such a different experience than when we took Lily for the same thing. Except for some reflux and eczema, Lily was a pretty textbook baby. Then there's sweet Imogene. We spent a good deal of time updating Dr. Baldrate on Imogene's progress through therapy, and her progress on the sleeping. The rest of the time we talked about her eating! Our readers know how much Imogene loves to eat, so you're probably as surprised as we were to find out she only weighs 17 lbs 14 oz, putting her in only the 7th percentile for her age. Height and head circumference she is in the 50th percentile.
(Children are tracked throughout their early years on a growth chart.)
Imogene has consistently fallen down the growth chart, and gained just over one pound since her 9 month appointment. Dr. Baldrate didn't seem extremely alarmed, but would like to see Imogene again in 6 weeks to check her weight. The fact that she definitely likes eating is a plus! We also talked a good bit about how we will introduce dairy and soy into Imogene's diet. She saw a pediatric GI back in March, and he determined that she was sensitive enough to dairy and soy that she'd benefit from it being completely cut out of her diet. As her nursing mother, that meant cutting it out of my diet as well. To see how she'll handle dairy and soy, I've been given the green light to eat dairy and soy. Oh the possibilities that have opened up to mommy's diet! After a week or so of this, we'll see how Imogene's doing, and if she seems to be okay, we'll introduce her to foods with soy in them. Then if THAT seems to work, we'll give her a little soy milk, and maybe then a little soy cheese and soy yogurt. Dr. Baldrate said we'll discuss dairy at her 15 month appointment. So keep your fingers crossed that this goes well.
Now tomorrow morning we're off to see Dr. Madigan, Imogene's ophthalmologist. We feel like her eye is starting to turning in more than before, so mommy, being the worrier that she is, is pretty anxious to get this one over with.
And then NEXT Tuesday we finally see Dr. Morozova, the physiatrist.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Imogene!

Yesterday was a great day - we had wonderful family and lovely friends over to the house yesterday afternoon to help celebrate Imogene's first birthday. She seemed to have a great time too! However, she was not a fan of the cake. Not sure if it was the icing or the way it felt on her hands, but she really didn't get all smashy-messy with the cake, as I secretly hoped she would! Imogene had the best time playing with a balloon this morning. Especially cute was when she used it as a pillow while she watched TV! She also had a fun time playing with the ribbon and plastic bag from a gift. Lily's best line of the day: When Maggie arrived, (bless that sweet Maggie for coming and letting Lily drag her and Lucy & Will all over the house) polite Lily said to her, "Maggie, we have beer. Would you like a beer?" She sees/hears us offer drinks to people at parties, and must have known it was the nice thing to do. It was classic Lily. Lily was a very gracious and helpful big sister, and did a nice job opening Imogene's gifts for her, but not getting to territorial! I'll include a few pictures here, and then here is a link to an album of more pictures in January.

Birthday Breakfast

The Smash Cake
She really doesn't like this.
Imogene loved the bag that her adorable new cupcake shirt from the Joneses came in.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Big Day Approaches

It's the Birthday-eve! Mommy is feeling a bunch of emotions this week, which is probably why I haven't updated the blog. I just can't put into any words, even rambling, nonsense words what it means to me that our little Imogene Blanche, our baby, is one. I know everyone says this, but it just doesn't seem possible that a year has passed. So much has happened in that time. At times the greatest measure of the time that has passed is how much Lily changed since her baby sister was born. She really isn't a toddler anymore - just 6 weeks from turning 4!
Imogene was born via c-section at 9:32 am on January 16, 2009. She weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces and was 18 1/2 inches long. The delivery went really well. She did swallow a little fluid on the way into the world, so instead of going straight to the recovery room with us, she went to the nursery, with Bill in tow! About three hours later, Bill returned to the recovery room and I finally got to hold that little peanut. Lily came with Naney and Aunt Susan to the hospital later that afternoon. She was so wide-eyed by the whole hospital scene (especially by the gown and wires all over mommy). In the pictures from that first meeting, Lily is just beside herself with wonder, awe and instant love for her baby sister. She was especially excited that her new sister had brought her a gift! She immediately wanted to hold her and help her with her pacifier. Sweet Imogene has patiently tolerated all that "love" from her sister since those first moments.
We'll celebrate her birthday, and the growth of our family and our hearts tomorrow. Hope to get some pictures posted as soon as I can! (From tomorrow, and from her 'birth-day' too!)
Also have some fun pictures of Imogene 'feeding' Lily food off her high chair tray. So funny!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back in the Real World

Apologies for the dry-spell our five loyal blog-readers! The Siglers were without phone, Internet and cable for 3 days. The cable wasn't that big of a deal. Bill and I watched several episodes of "Glee," which we really enjoyed. The phone and internet were pretty difficult to survive without for that long. Thank goodness for the Blackberries!

Friday was Lily's first trip to the dentist. She was such a great patient. Dr. Delaney (what a perfect pediatric dentist she is!) was very complimentary about Lily's teeth and Lily did everything that Dr. Delaney and her assistant asked her to without any hesitation. I wasn't that surprised, she loves that attention and all the new gear, and of course the stickers. But it hit me as we sat down, "what am I going to do with Imogene if Lily goes nuts about having her teeth cleaned? Why didn't I think of this before we got here?" Fortunately they were both very cooperative - Lily as the patient, Imogene as the support. And I was relieved that her teeth looked clean and healthy. She hasn't always been the best dental patient at home, and I was worried the dentist would take one look and her mouth and know immediately that Lily had eaten a fruit-strip or cereal bar every day for the last two years! (Neither one very good for your teeth!)
Imogene started to grunt and make funny 'attention-getting' noises during the cleaning part of Lily's visit. She either was worried about what they were doing to her sister, or thought they were feeding Lily, and wanted in on that! Both girls will go back in July.
Imogene totally gets the phone now. She holds cell phones, real phones, channel changers, toy phones, just about anything up to her ear and makes a sound like 'heh" - which is maybe her version of hello. It's hysterical. Also a few times I've been able to get her to give me kisses. This means that she opens her whole mouth super-wide and drools all over you while going "ohhhh-ohhh." She makes the same sound when she loves on Lily or a baby doll. Such a sweetheart she is.
This is Imogene's last week as a 'baby.' I know she's still a baby even when she's one, but it just seems like such a huge deal that our baby is turning one. I keep thinking about how much our life has changed in just 12 short months. We've also seen how big Lily's heart is as she's grown up so much this year, and become such an amazing big sister. Yes, she has her jealous, attention-seeking moments, but on the whole, she has loved Imogene with every part of her heart and soul. I also think about how much we've been tested, and hope that we've responded in the best way we could for Imogene, Lily and ourselves. And how much we've learned! About the human body - how much sleep you really need (uninterrupted night's sleep how I miss you!), how the brain works and how resilient babies and kids are. And about the human heart - how important it is to have friends and family to support you, how really strong your marriage is (stronger than you even imagined) and how much you can love, and love, and love two precious girls, and know that there is room in your heart to love them even more!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Imogene loves bath time. She goes crazy, though, when lily joins her!
She just loves her big sister.
Playing peek-a-boo.
Bath hug.
"Helping" after I'd gotten all the Christmas cards in the album I keep them in.
She's very proud of herself.

Cold, Cold and More Cold

We are dealing with some cold days here. Lily said today, "hurry and get me in the car mom, I'm freezing and I'm getting freezing-er."
The new basement/playroom is working out really well. The toys are still all over the place, but at least they aren't all over the main floor. The one problem is that with all the cold weather we're having, it's colder than usual in the basement. So off the girls and I went to Home Depot today for a space heater. We used the self-checkout, and as I am about to leave Lily says "wait, wait Mom. She hasn't said it." "Hasn't said what, Lily?" "Thank you for shopping at Home Depot!" Two seconds later, the machine says it, and I'm allowed to leave. There is nothing that gets past this kid!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Watching Paint Dry

Borrowing a great idea from a friend, I painted the top of a door in the kitchen and a square of a door in the playroom/basement with chalkboard paint. Laying on the floor watching me, Lily says "Why is this so bored? Why am I so boring?" At one point she actually sat in a chair, turned on the timer to her play kitchen and watched the paint dry. She is going crazy to use chalk on them - but boy has she figured out how boring it is to watch paint dry!

At church today she told Maggie that she missed her during the holidays. So dear. I missed Maggie too! Can't wait until Thursday!

It's one of those slightly depressing Sundays here. Bill has been home for the greater portion of the last two weeks and it has been heavenly for all of us. Time goes so quickly when you are busy with the mess that is life with two small children - cleaning, playing, eating, cleaning some more, playing some more, eating again, cleaning again :0)! Imogene will be ONE in thirteen days! Slow down Father Time, slow down!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Lily stayed up late last night to watch the Hokies in the Chick-Fil-A bowl. We learned several things from this adventure. 1. Brand Recognition starts at a young age. Lily called out the CFA logo on the field right away. 2. Lily loves to watch sports and cheer for any team. She put on the outfit Uncle Ryan gave her and shook her pom-poms for both teams - especially since she knew Aunt Susan was there cheering on the Vols. (Sorry Aunt Susan!) 3. Lily needs 11-12 hours of sleep a night.

She was not all that much fun today because she was "just so tired." It took her about 3 minutes to fall asleep tonight! But it was fun to let her feel special last night, and pretty cute when she finally fell asleep on the floor.

Imogene has started off the new year with a great new skill. She can officially go from laying down to sitting up on her own. The transition is giving her an idea that she can get on her knees and play a little bit, which should help with crawling. She also seems to understand that she can pull up on your legs or small boxes/bins ... she's finally getting to do a little more exploring! If I haven't said it enough, she really is a sweet, happy baby most of the time! She is such a cuddler and loves hugging and kissing - especially Lily!

And now, some funny "Lilyisms" ...
We received a Garmin navigation tool from Aunt Susan for Christmas (Love it!) If you tell it where you are going, it will call out the directions to you. The 'lady' is Lily's new favorite toy. Once the navigation tells you to go left, Lily tells you to go left too. Sometimes I think she really believes she is the only one that can hear her! Navigation lady, "turn left, then left." Lily, "turn left then left Mom." Navigation lady "go 400 yards." Lily "go to 400 yards Mom." Never fails, every time. It's cute, but it's going to get a little annoying soon!

Watching the "outside hockey game" today. (NHL Game at Fenway. Awesome!) Lily didn't like it when they slammed up against the boards. "That is not fair and makes people sad." So when I offered to change the channel when a fight started, "No Mom I LIKE HOCKEY!"

Later, "do girls play hockey? I want to play hockey too."

We were somewhere and all of us talked about how good it smelled. "Isn't it great that we have noses so we can smell?"